Trained in the early sixties, Emeritus Professor Ray Stebbins established the Jewellery and Metals program at Melbourne Teachers College in 1969. In 1978, he undertook a Masters Degree at the Royal College of Art in London . He headed the Metalcraft department at Melbourne State College from 1981 to 1984, when he moved to RMIT and headed the Gold and Silversmithing programs at RMIT University until 1997. In 1991 he was appointed Australia’s first Professor of Gold and Silversmithing. Professor Stebbins has lectured extensively and curated more than 30 gold and silversmithing exhibitions around the world. As a practising silversmith he has participated in over 40 exhibitions, has work in public and private collections, and has won four major awards.
It is with the utmost sadness that the GSGA advises all of the passing of our beloved member (#60), teacher and friend. Debbie’s life of creativity, love, care and generosity was abruptly ended after a period of declining health on September 28.
As a master enamellist and jeweller, Debbie created a diverse range of beautiful pieces throughout her career using the cloisonne’ technique, precious metals and precious gems of all types.
Debbie’s virtuosic displays of colour, composition and form will be enjoyed for generations – with her large scale Daintree panel series at Brisbane airport the largest and most easily accessible – and her wearable artworks in the possession of many many collectors around the globe.
The GSGA shares with many groups around the world our appreciation for Debbie’s kindness and generosity in passing on her extensive knowledge – nurturing and mentoring developing artists and enamellists at all stages of their creative journeys.
On behalf of all within the Guild and the jewellery/enamelling communities we thank Debbie’s family for sharing this precious person with us all, and wish to convey our sincere condolences, gratitude and grief at her passing.
Debbie was an active member of the Council of the Gold and Silversmith’s Guild of Australia, and a recent recipient of the Tony Kean Award for her services to the Jewellery community in Australia. Debbie was awarded the Outright Winner of the Australian Jewellery Design Awards in 2019.
Internationally, Debbie won the “Saul Bell Award for Enamel” in 2016, was Invited to judge in 2017 , and was awarded the “Best Of Show 2019″. Debbie was an active contributor to enamelling forums around the world, and we share with the global community the sadness that marks the end of her creative contributions in this revered medium. Her enthusiasm and desire to keep learning and expressing her ideas meant that Debbie’s best works were still to come.
Expressions of Condolence have been conveyed from around the world.
please use the following links to learn more of Debbie’s life work from external sources….
The GSGA will be returning to Sydney for the first interstate Trade Fair in years. Come and say hi, chat with the Executive , and view the Touchplates! Touch on any new ( or old) maker’s marks on the spot! Join Fellow GSGA members for a social get together on Sunday evening at 6pm. This will be upstairs at the Newtown Hotel 174 King St Newtown. This Hotel is within walking distance of Carriageworks and easily accessible to and from the city.
The Council of the GSGA is currently updating our Member’s information storage and management systems. Records of admission are gradually being added and the most current detail from the website and administrative sources are mostly transferred. Enhanced levels of detail on member’s professional and creative activities will enable easier and more accurate establishment of provenance for pieces made by GSGA members. As this is an entirely new system, please be patient if there are any teething details . Any feedback would be welcome via email to email@example.com
To update your personal details please log into the Members Information Database at members.gsga.org.au. The first step is to register on the main page. Shortly after, active members will be advised that their profile is active, and ready to go!
Debbie Sheezel was interviewed after winning the Saul Bell International Jewellery Award for her amazing piece LINEAL ALCHEMY. The interview is reproduced here and can be found alongside other GSGA news in the current issue of Touchplate.
It is with great pleasure that the Gold and Silversmith’s Guild of Australia presents the Tony Kean Award to Debbie Sheezel, for her contribution to the jewellery community, both locally and internationally.
Her work has been recognised for it’s execution, design and unique beauty. Debbie’s creations are proudly owned, worn and collected by many.
During her extensive career, Debbie has supported, mentored and taught many aspiring enamellists with humility, insight and enthusiasm.
The GSGA is incredibly proud that Debbie is a fellow of the GSGA – and a past, valued committee member.
The Guild is holding a Presentation Dinner on May 5 to present the award . Please join fellow guild members, colleagues and friends to enjoy a special evening for all.
After a well attended and positive AGM, it was a pleasure to see 9 volunteers elected to the Gold and Silversmiths Guild Committee of management.
Some old faces, some new faces and some returning faces now make up the team for the next couple of years.
Incoming President Desma Noble – Fellow #44, is joined by Tim Peel #117, Jacqui Mc Master #196 and Ian Dun #47 as the executive.
Kristen De-Coi #183 will take on the Keeper of the Punches Role, and Bronwyn Pratt #20 (Full) is the new Membership Officer.
Returning as councillors are Barrie Salau #42, and Vick Nakashian #170. They are joined by new councillor, and previous administrative assistant, Brooke Everett #195.
State representatives that have offered their time at this stage are: Darren Daley and Ben Tracy (QLD), Lucas Blacker and Dean Irvine (NSW) and Venetia Major (ACT).
Retiring WA Rep – Monica Perrone, will be missed as a valued contributor to meeting discussions and we look forward to additional state reps joining meetings as time goes by.
Retiring President Chris Sherwin #5 and Vice President Dianne Walker #141 have left the committee well placed for an effective and positive future after guiding the Guild through recent challenging times. Sarah Kellett #147 will hopefully be able to participate in the occasional meeting and event , continuing her valued presence as a regular meeting participant.
It was the pleasure of the Committee of the GSGA to Present the Tony Kean Award and Trophy to Graeme Turnbull for his many years of Service to the Industry. Providing precious metals and dispensing metallurgical advice when required have endeared Graeme to his many friends and colleagues within the Jewellery manufacturing community.
A Members dinner celebration was hosted for the surprise presentation to Graeme, with his wife Leanne and colleagues Marius and Mark from Palloys in attendance. (Photos to follow)
Graeme receives the Tony Kean Award from Chris. Graeme’s Support Team!